Nikos Kazantzakis (also transliterated as Kazandzákis) (Greek: Νίκος Καζαντζάκης) (Heraklion 18 February 1883 – Freiburg im Breisgau, October 26, 1957) was one of the most important Greek writers of the 20th century.
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Kazantzakis studied law in Athens and philosophy at Henri Bergsonin Paris . He began his writing career as a journalist. Kazantzakis was also politically active: at a young age he already held a Directors function at the Greek Ministry of Social Affairs, and after the first world war , he was given the leadership of a Commission for the repatriation of Greek refugees who, on the run from the Turkish war in Asia minor, the Caucasusand South had fledRussia . With his performance were 150,000 Greeks saved from starvation in Russia.
Kazantzakis had a great social commitment with his philosophical studies made to a convinced communist. In youth work Toda Raba (1931), which he wrote in French, he sang the praise of the international Leninistrevolution. A number of trips to the USSR as a journalist, however, caused him to doubt the State communism. In response to his ideological problems he developed a political-philosophical idea that he himself described as "meta-communism". Following this, he founded in 1945 a small Socialist party that all non-Communist left-wing splinter groups in Greece wanted to unite. He was Minister for a short time in theSofoulisGovernment, but he soon took dismissal and then moved on to the UNESCO. The last years of his life he got with his health.
Kazantzakis died at the age of 74 in Freiburg im Breisgau, on 26 October 1957. Most of his life he had spent outside Greece. Because of his criticism of the Greek Orthodox Church and his outrageous views in several books, he was a cemetery on a cemetery refused, although he did not was incredulous. Kazantzakis now rests at his own request in his native city of Heraklion in Crete, where a wooden cross adorns his grave. On its simple floor slab is a quote from his Askitiki. Salvatores Dei: "I hope nothing. I fear nothing. I am free." / "Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα. Δε φοβ ύμαι τίποτα. Είμαι λέφθερος."
Kazantzakis was a versatile writer, with a very extensive literary oeuvre: philosophical works, poems, novels, travel descriptions and scene but also translation work and even a dictionary. His most important poetry is the epic Odyssey (1938), that starts where the Odyssey by Homer ends. Although he had clearly left-wing sympathies, he tried in his work, both political and religious grounds, both parties come into their own: his interest is in people, never their principles. Especially with his novels, he acquired great international fame, also because some were filmed: the last Temptation – Christ is crucified again (by Jules Dassin filmed onCrete itself)- Alexis Zorbas ("Zorba the Greek") - Captain Michalis. The contents of his controversial novels brought him into conflict with the Greek Orthodox Church, who was excommunicated in 1955 because of the last Temptation . Even the Pope left the last Temptation on the Index of forbidden books places.
In his philosophical quest for synthesis tried Kazantzakis to unite with cosmopolitanism nationalism . He considered himself first as a Cretan, then as a European and then as a global citizen. As Europe is equally far from Crete as Africa 's or Asia, and both as at the other hears, or not yet again, so not to catalogue includes Kazantzakis. He is deeply religious and atheist, humanist , anarchistand Stoic, in turn and often at the same time. He belongs to no school, and also has no school created, just as his compatriot El Greco. This he admired so much that he in his autobiographical work "report to El Greco" (posthumously published in1961) reports about his life to the famous Greek painter.
- The snake and the lily (Όφις και κρίνο) 1906, under the pen name Karma Nirvami
- Toda-Raba (1931)
- Le Jardin des Rochers (written in French) 1936
- Alexis Zorbas (Βίος και του Αλέξη Ζορμπά πολιτεία) 1946
- Captain Michalis (Ο καπετάν Μιχάλης) (1953)
- Christ is crucified again (Ο Χριστός ξανασταυρώνεται) 1954
- The last temptation of Christ (Ο τελευταίος πειρασμός) 1955
- The poor of God (Ο Φτωχούλης του Θεού) 1956)
- Report to El Greco (στον Γκρέκο Αναφορά) 1961
- The broedermoorden Creole (Οι αδερφοφάδες θέλει να λεύτερος λέει, ',., σκοτώστε τον ναι!) 1963
- Symposium (Συμπόσιον) 1971
- In the palaces of Knossos (Στα παλάτια της Κνωσού) 1981
- Prometheus (Προμηθέας)
- Cyrus (Κούρος)
- Odyseus (Οδυσσέας)
- Melissa (Μέλισσα)
- Christ (Χριστός)
- Julianus (Ιουλιανός ο Παραβάτης)
- Nikoforos Fokas (Νικηφόρος Φωκάς)
- Constantine Paleologos (Κωνσταντίνος ο Παλαιολόγος)
- Kapodistrias (Καποδίστριας)
- Ryan Campbell (Χριστόφορος Κολόμβος)
- Sodom and Gomorrah (Σόδομα και Γόμορα)
- Bouddha (Βούδας)
- Odyssey (Οδύσσεια) 1938
- Τερτσίνες (1960)
- What I saw in Russia (Τι τα ταξίδια στη Ρουσία μου-από είδα)
- On travel. Spain (Α΄ Ταξιδεύοντας., Ισπανία)
- On travel. Japan, China (Κίνα, Ιαπωνία-Ταξιδεύοντας. Β΄)
- On travel. England. (Ταξιδεύοντας. Γ΄, Αγγλία)
- On travel. Italy, Spain, Egypt, China (Ιταλία, Ισπανία, Σινά, Ταξιδεύοντας. Αίγυπτος)
- On travel. Italy; Egypt, China, Jerusalem, Cyprus (Ιταλία, Ιερουσαλήμ, Σινά, Ταξιδεύοντας., Κύπρος Αίγυπτος)
- Ascetics. The saviors of God (Ασκητική. Salvatores Dei) 1927. 
- The Divine Comedy (Dante)
- Faust (Goethe)
- Saint Francis of Assisi (Joergensen)